Antigua and Barbuda Falcons replace Jamaica Tallawahs; to compete in CPL 2024


The Antigua and Barbuda Falcons will replace Jamaica Tallawahs in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2024, the league announced on Tuesday.

Click here to watch unveiling 

The Falcons were officially unveiled during a gala opening ceremony hosted by the franchise owners- WORLDWIDE Sports Management Group.

Parimatch, the number one global gaming platform, will proudly serve as the Title Sponsor of the team.

The event was held on Tuesday evening at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, which will be the home of Antigua and Barbuda Falcons when they compete in the 2024 edition of the Republic Bank CPL, the Biggest Party in Sport.

Krishna (Kris) Persaud, Founder and President of WORLDWIDE Sports Management Group was thrilled as he showcased the new team’s name and the colorful and dynamic logo for the first time to excited guests.

Persaud also expressed delight in having the team officially on board for the regional event, which attracts sold-out audiences for matches.

Persaud said: “We are brand new; we are here, we are ready…let’s get ready to play! The Antigua and Barbuda Falcons will bring a unique energy and vitality to the Republic Bank CPL. We are ready to fly high and conquer what is before us. We want to establish a winner’s culture within the team and also a culture of winning and success off the field- among every individual associated with this franchise and the amazing fans we will have at our special home base at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in lovely Antigua.”

Persaud added: “What you are witnessing today as we unveil the Antigua and Barbuda Falcons, is something truly special and I want to thank the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, who have worked closely with us to bring the Antigua and Barbuda Falcons to life. Antigua is our home … this country has a rich cricket history and the Antigua and Barbuda Falcons will create more great history on these shores. It is now time for the Falcons to fly high!”

Details on the overall structure of the Antigua and Barbuda Falcons and the coaching and management staff for the team will be announced at a later date.

The 2024 Republic Bank CPL will take place from August 28 to October 6 with games taking place in Antigua for the first time in 10 years. The final will once again take place in Guyana at the National Stadium in Providence.

The tournament will also plans to have matches in Barbados, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.

Once again, the window for the CPL will not clash with West Indies fixtures, so the best Caribbean talent will be on show at the Biggest Party in Sport.

Jeff Miller, CEO and General Manager of the Franchise said: “Welcome back Antigua and Barbuda! This is where the ‘party’ in cricket started, and we are delighted to be back for this exciting event. We plan to have a full house for every match with our Antigua and Barbuda Falcons on show. This is what we have been waiting for. It will be amazing to see the Sir Vivian Richard Stadium packed and our lovely super fans enjoying the action and the atmosphere, as well as seeing great cricket on the field, the non-stop party in the stands and all the festivities that come with cricket in the West Indies.”

Why a new franchise?

It was reported in December that Kris Persaud, a Guyanese businessman based in Florida, owned the Tallawahs franchise, but has sold it back to the CPL.

“The owners were left with no option but to sell the Tallawahs back to CPL as they could not find a way to operate the team sustainably,” a CPL spokesperson had told ESPNcricinfo.

Tallawahs won the tournament three times (2013, 2016 and 2022).

Antigua had a franchise in the first two CPL seasons named Hawksbills, but they won only three matches and were replaced by St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots in 2015.

Meanwhile, CPL said it intends to relaunch a Jamaica-based franchise in years to come.

“The CPL remains committed to having a team based in Jamaica, but this will be in 2025 at the earliest,” a spokesperson said.

“In 2024, there will be six teams taking part in the CPL with franchises based in Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.”

Notably, Jamaica has not hosted any CPL games since 2019.

The league’s chief executive Pete Russell had told the Jamaica Observer that he found the government’s reluctance to engage with cricket “baffling”, saying: “It’s always disappointed me that we’ve never been able to break through in terms of with our discussions.”

Earlier this year, Jamaica’s Minister of Sport Olivia Grange pushed back at critics, insisting that the ministry did its best to give support to the Jamaica Tallawahs.

Her response had followed widespread condemnation about the Government’s lack of support for the Tallawahs.

Grange pointed out that the ministry provided special support to the Tallawahs at the level that funds would permit, as they forwarded cash, and paid for coordinated services across the Government of Jamaica to facilitate the franchise.

She added that the ministry’s Sports Division and the Sports Development Foundation provided direct cash payments of J$13 million to Jamaica Tallawahs, including the purchase of tickets for matches, between 2015 and 2019.

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